By Kandia Johnson | Black Enterprise
Whether you’re a 9-to-5er or an entrepreneur, your success at anything comes down to discipline, focus, and effort. Here are a four ways to work smarter and manage your time more effectively.
Be real with yourself
Self-awareness is key to slaying your goals. What are your top three daily priorities? What are the things you have to do each week? What activities would you like to make time for? Track where you’re spending your time to identify your top three obstacles and distractions. What’s stopping you from working on your priorities or meeting your goals?
You might be surprised to learn how often things that have nothing to do with your goals derail your plans.
Identify your most productive work time
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Schedule time blocks to work on your top priorities. For instance, if you’re an early morning person, get your top priority done before lunch.
Dedicate one day each week to planning ahead and batch processing routine activities (e.g., meal prep on Sunday, set up automated bill pay, create blog content for the month, write follow-up emails, etc.)
Be ruthless and selfish with your time
There’s a quote that says “If someone wastes 10 minutes of your time, 8 minutes is your fault.” This couldn’t be more true.
Wear headphones while you’re working to send a signal to your coworkers that you’re in beast mode. Cubicle drive-bys can wreak havoc on your workflow.
Keep meetings under 20 minutes – Short meetings force people to focus on priorities and action.
Check your email at three scheduled times a day – It’s easy to get sidetracked when switching between activities to respond to an email. If the email will take less than three minutes to respond, just do it.
Say ‘no’ to notifications – Turn off mobile/desktop notifications or use the Self – Control app to help you avoid distracting websites.
Take a good look at your to-do list: what can you delegate? By the way, the delegation method doesn’t stop at work. What household task can you outsource? Consider everything from getting your groceries delivered to your doorstep to hiring a mobile car detailing service.